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Main Street to Broadway

Main Street to Broadway
Directed by Tay Garnett
James Anderson (assistant)
Produced by Lester Cowan
Written by Samson Raphaelson(writer)
Robert E. Sherwood(story)
Starring Mary Murphy
Agnes Moorehead
Music by Ann Ronell
Cinematography James Wong Howe
Edited by Gene Fowler, Jr.
Distributed by MGM
Release dates
October 13, 1953
Country United States
Language English
Budget $1,350,000[1]
Box office $444,000[1]

Main Street to Broadway is a 1953 light drama-comedy by independent producer Lester Cowan, his final credit, in collaboration with The Council of the Living Theatre, which provided tie-up with the Broadway names. Release was by MGM. The backstage story features Tom Morton, as an aspiring playwright who hopes to stage a Broadway production, Mary Murphy, as a young lady from Indiana, and Herb Shriner, TV and radio humorist, in a rare acting role as a hardware store owner.

Tallulah Bankhead is featured in a parody sequence of herself. The list of Broadway luminaries also playing themselves, in smaller cameos, includes Ethel Barrymore, Lionel Barrymore (in his last film), Shirley Booth, Louis Calhern, Faye Emerson, Rex Harrison, Helen Hayes, Mary Martin, Lilli Palmer, John Van Druten and Cornel Wilde. Included is New York baseball manager Leo Durocher. Many others are unidentified, such as Vivian Blaine, glimpsed in a theater lobby.

In one scene, Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II create a new song, "There's Music in You", then perform it for their friends, with Rodgers at the piano and Hammerstein singing the vocals.[2] Mary Martin is later seen rehearsing the song for director Joshua Logan.

The black-and-white film, which has a running time of 97 minutes, was directed by Tay Garnett, screenplay by Samson Raphaelson, based on a story Robert E. Sherwood, and photographed by James Wong Howe. Sequences were filmed in New York, with shots at the Martin Beck and old Empire theaters. Others as story characters include Gertrude Berg, as a landlady, Agnes Moorehead, Rosemary de Camp, Arthur Shields, and, in a fantasy sequence, Florence Bates, Madge Kennedy, Carl Benton Reid, Frank Ferguson, and Robert Bray.


According to MGM records the film earned $416,000 in the US and Canada and only $28,000 elsewhere.[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 The Eddie Mannix Ledger, Los Angeles: Margaret Herrick Library, Center for Motion Picture Study .

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